Sunday, February 24, 2013

fire and ice

the other night, a few blocks away, a house burned down.  patrick and i drove past it yesterday and just stared in awe at the creepiness ... only half of it was left standing, charred brick and no roof at all.  the firefighters must have battled strong, because huge torrents of water were gushing from every window and crevice, frozen mid-tumble.

my mother-in-law and i decided to take a walk tonight to go see it - just a quick walk before bed.

it wasn't even midnight yet.

we hadn't even gone five blocks.

we walked past two prostitutes.  young.  pretty.

my heart hurt hard, my stomach churned sick.  as we walked past the second girl, she was approached by an older man.

i might have been wrong.  it might have just been two neighbours stopping to chat about the weather or share cigarettes.

but i don't think so.

i feel angry and immobile, like that horror-house.  flames of anger against society and poverty and addiction and that man. but frozen with uncertainty - and even, yes, fear.  but can i help?  how?

part of me wants to adopt a walking habit - get a friend to join me, walk a circuit around my neighbourhood a few times every night, get to know the girls who stand on the street corners.  maybe bring them hot chocolate in travel mugs, even just stop to say hi, just be a person who cares.

but the other part of me shrinks in fear. i don't know how to deal with the lifetime of hurt or oppression that leaves a girl out on a sidewalk.  i don't know how to help that kind of problem.

but it's not a problem, God says.  it's a person.  she's a person.  you don't 'deal with' her.  you love her.


Is not this the fast that I choose:
    to loose the bonds of wickedness,
    to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
    and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
    and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
    and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?  
(Isaiah 58:6-7)

5 comments:

  1. :( it is so sad. Id walk with u! - chrissy

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    Replies
    1. i'll take you up on that, friend! thank you!

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  2. :( it is so sad. Id walk with u! - chrissy

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  3. Love. You...your heart...and the piercing truth you quoted.

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